Course Offerings

GEOS 200 The Global Environment

An introduction to the global environment, emphasizing the evolution and interaction of Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere; energy and material cycles, and global change. As an introductory course to the Earth's physical environment and how humankind interacts with this environment, students analyze how the Earth operates as an energy/matter system with emphasis on the inputs of solar and internal Earth energy. Patterns and processes of the Earth system are studied in relation to human activity giving rise to environmental issues. This course also fulfills a General Education requirement in Natural Sciences.

GEOG 200 Power of Place

The basic theme of this course is human geography as the study of place and the power that place has in the conduct of human affairs. Students will study the geographic distributions of human activities at global, regional and local scales, and the causes and consequences of those activities. Specific topics covered include population distribution and movement, economic activity, sustainable development, urban and rural settlements, and cultural and political environments. Students will also become acquainted with the tools that geographers use to map and analyze real world problems and gain a basic understanding of how those tools are applied to geographic studies.

GEOS 220 Contemporary Issues in Meteorology

An introduction to the physical basis, distribution, and societal impact of atmospheric processes ranging from small scale processes such as tornadoes, to large scale processes such as global circulation and climate. 

GEOG 308 Geography of China

This course is designed to introduce students to China’s human geography in the context of globalization, by focusing on a selection of key themes and topics of geographical inquiry in the China studies field. We will examine historical and contemporary patterns of regionalism in China, geographical aspects of Chinese culture and identity, as well as rural and urban perspectives on life in China.  A recurring theme of the course is to recognize the geographical, social, and cultural diversity within China.  To study China is to study “many Chinas.”

GEOG 327 Economic Geography

This course will introduce you to the principal concepts and methods in economic geography. Economic geography is the study of the spatial dimensions of how people earn a living, and how the goods and services they produce are geographically organized. The course is composed of four broadly defined topic areas: population and resources, location theories; spatial interaction, and development at local, regional, national and global scales.

GEOG 351 Advanced Remote Sensing

This course is designed to follow on from basic concepts of digital image analysis covered in GEO 355/655 Remote Sensing course. Students will develop competency in using ENVI/IDL software. Topics will include data import and geo-linking, image enhancement and analysis, change detection, calibration, and spatial modeling. Understanding of these technical issues and procedures will be incorporated through practical examples of their application to geographic problems, which students will explore through exercises and a final project. 

GEOG 355 Remote Sensing

During the extent of this course, students are provided an introduction to the acquisition and utilization of remotely-sensed data in geographical/environmental research. The different sensors used to collect this information, and a wide variety of interpretation techniques continue to develop at an astounding rate. In this course, we will focus on the interpretation and application of data from space-borne imaging systems (eg: MODIS, Landsat, Quickbird and SPOT). The student will develop a comprehensive understanding of remote sensing principles and methods through applications in geography and environmental science. In addition, direction will be given towards how remote sensing may be applied to students’ research and towards hands-on skills for processing, analysis, display and communication of remote sensing data.

GEOG 356 Introduction to Spatial Statistics

This course is designed to acquaint students with spatial statistical methods commonly used in geographical research to describe, characterize, model, and analyze geo-referenced or spatial data. The topics cover geographical sampling, regression analysis, and spatial statistical techniques for describing and analyzing point, line, and areal features, and spatial associations. Lectures, in-class exercises, and assignments focus on practical problem solving with statistical software package and GIS. Students are expected to demonstrate that you have mastered the basic spatial statistical techniques and that you know when to use what method and how to interpret the results.

GEOS 363 Climate Science

A scientific analysis of Earth’s climate.  The physical processes responsible for the mean state of the atmosphere are used to discuss the past, present, and future climates of Earth.

GEOS 367 Geomorphology

A study of the land forming processes and the Earth’s common landforms due to tectonic activity, chemical and physical weathering, mass wasting, fluvial, and glacial processes. In this course students research the processes by which gravity, water, and ice modify and shape the Earth’s landscape and  interpret information from landform imagery. Throughout the course an emphasis is placed on how these geomorphic processes may impact human activity and vice versa through a systems approach.

GEOG 530 Transportation Geography

This course will be instructed in a topical manner. It presents a survey of the ways in which geographers have approached the study of transportation. Conceptual and theoretical issues in transportation geography will be discussed, along with selected transportation models and analysis methods related to spatial interactions, network analysis, location-allocation, and urban transportation planning. Transportation geography has two general themes. The first is transportation and spatial organization. The second theme of transportation geography is applied real-world problem-solving that is quantitative, overlaps with the disciplines of planning and engineering.

GEOG536: Sustainable Transportation

This course will be built upon the principles of transportation geography and transportation planning, and their relationships to the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability. This course looks into the problems of developing sustainable transportation systems. We will examine the environmental and human problems associated with transportation, including climate change, air quality, consumption of non-renewable resources, safety, congestion and social equity. We will also explore possible solutions to these problems, including pricing, planning, policy, technology and education.


GEOS 564 Hydrology

An advanced study of the hydrologic cycle, drainage basin analysis, stream flow and flooding, pollution and utilization of water resources. Students will typically research the various aspects of physical hydrology, including atmospheric processes, surface and groundwater behavior, flood hazards, water supply assessment and water management strategies by collecting and analyzing hydrological data from various sources. 

GEOS 570 Water Resource Management

Water resources form a critical component of any socioeconomic or environmental system. This course provides an analysis of water resource issues impacting these systems including flood and drought hazards, surface and groundwater quantity/quality issues, and energy development. Water legislation and policy aspects are further integrated with these issues at various spatial scales, including case studies from within the US and across international boundaries that lead to conflict. At the outcome of this course students will develop a basic water resource management plan for a watershed in Kentucky.

GEOS 571 GIS and Water Resources


A study of the application of GIS techniques in water resources research and management including: digital mapping of water resources, watershed delineation and modeling atmospheric, surface and groundwater processes. This course allows students who have taken the Introductory GIS course to collect and utilize water resources based geospatial data to model surface and groundwater flow, evapotranspiration and precipitation processes as part of an overall water budget. Completion of an independent term project is required by the end of the course.

GEOG 655 Remote Sensing

During the extent of this course, students are provided an introduction to the acquisition and utilization of remotely-sensed data in geographical/environmental research. The different sensors used to collect this information, and a wide variety of interpretation techniques continue to develop at an astounding rate. In this course, we will focus on the interpretation and application of data from space-borne imaging systems (eg: MODIS, Landsat, Quickbird and SPOT). The student will develop a comprehensive understanding of remote sensing principles and methods through applications in geography and environmental science. In addition, direction will be given towards how remote sensing may be applied to students’ research and towards hands-on skills for processing, analysis, display and communication of remote sensing data.

GEOG 656 Advanced Spatial Statistics

This course is designed for graduate students in geography or other relevant disciplines. It is suitable for students with a solid knowledge of introductory inferential statistics, as well as operations of GIS. The course examines advanced methods for investigating, analyzing, and modeling spatial data. It is designed to provide skills and expertise required to carry out advanced geographical analyses. A specific focus of the course is placed on integrating GIS, spatial analysis and quantitative methods to address various issues in human and physical geography. The emphasis is on working with real data through computer applications.